If you love Asian food, even better if you love it as street food and in Taiwanese version, then the kitchen of Bao House restaurant it’s right for you. Make room in your time schedule for a quick lunch break, or a snack to win the hunger or for an informal dinner with friends. Destination: Milan. Go to via Plinio, number 37. You are in Città Studi. Easy to come to, not so easy to find parking in.
Do you know how to spot Bao House among the many restaurants and shops of the street? You’ll only need to look up, it works even if you’re short. Bao House’s sign is considerably big, very noticeable, it rises proudly over the entrance door and the window. An all-white ambient with shades of grey and red touches for luck will welcome you. A small door mat will greet you, while you open the door of a parallel world, that is a world on the 24th parallel north and 121st east meridian. Welcome to Taiwan.
Warm wood under your feet, a minimalistic counter and a few square tables to eat your meal. A very essential mise-en-place: a place mat, a napkin, the kuaizi (a.k.a. the sticks) and a glass. A clean and simple space with a stripped-down furniture: a vase, a painting, a flower. In the open kitchen, all glass and iron, where Grace, the founder, works. You’ll see her, Taiwanese by birth but Italian by adoption, with her assistant while she cooks your meal without any hesitation.
The menu not only reflects the simplicity of Taiwanese street cuisine, but also the essence of Grace’s work in her restaurant: sautéed rice, noodles and dumplings both with meat and fresh seasonal vegetables, small tofu appetizers, greens and popcorn chicken to enjoy the waiting. And then their warhorse: the baozi. A steamed bread bun filled with braised pork belly served, here in Milan, with other simple Taiwanese ingredients with absolutely fantastic couplings.
Fast, careful and discreet service, like it should be in every intimate and cozy place, that never causes confusion but lets you relax and enjoy your meal. Forget the espresso at the end. Opt for a tea, a true healing hand during winter time.
Photo credit © Daniela Delli